Strong/Firm with Persistence
At my desk lies a bright yellow sheet containing Chinese figures painted by Po Ying, a journalist who stayed with us at the theatre for some time. Po comes from Hong Kong and is hitchhiking around the world. She has been on the move for two years now. Before she came to us she was in Sweden, with Teater Albatross. Po wanted to help with what she could in exchange for a place to sleep and food. She insists on surviving without hardly any money. She made lunch, she told us about her travels and endeavors. Before she headed up North she gave us all presents - a sheet of calligraphy. Mine read: “May I wish you to be strong/firm with persistence”.
Yes, may we all be strong/firm with persistence. All of us in our work; the festivals we might organize; the books we want to and will write and with the fights we may have to get funded. The new performances that we will make. The need to be together, the friendship we share. May we be strong and firm and persistent in the meetings, the exchange that has fuelled and fed us for many, many years now. I never imagined growing old with The Magdalena Project -what luck that it is so. May we be on the move, both physically and in spirits. May we take and make room, both in a concrete and a metaphorical way.
My own cluttered room, where every so often I find an object, a book, a photograph, a drawing or a necklace. Here I find an old photograph of us doing Tai Chi in a big park in Beijing, the case of an old harmonica that was my father`s. Sometimes it moves me, and I have the start of something. I move, I sing along, I see the stacks of our Open Page Journals, our books. They mean we are all part of this room and we take up space in many rooms, in paper, thoughts, and memories.
The turn of the year gives room for reflection. What was our work; What did we sow; What did we harvest; Who came; Who went? My mother in law, Bjørg Vik, a writer and pioneer within the Norwegian feminist movement from the early 70s died peacefully.
As I write I think of this year coming. In the editorial board of the Open Page, we have decided to write another book. We are curious to see what we can achieve in our own writing. Who, maybe new women, we can inspire to put their words down. We are on the move and to quote Tom Waits: “You have to keep busy. After all, no dog`s ever pissed on a moving car”.
As I write I am in Odense (DK), where the theatre collective By Proxy has invited us from Grenland Friteater to make a Stedsans (Sense of Place) with Teater Momentum... in the winter! Brave thinking indeed!
New travels, new meetings. Looking back, I was inspired to take part in a film seminar about the women Surrealists. Particularly I was interested in Leonora Carrington and watching three different movies concerning her work. One of the films was made by the Norwegian filmmaker Anne Kjersti Bjørn. In March I will visit Double Edge Theatre who have made a performance where Leonora Carrington is very much at the centre. It seems to me that women Surrealists are on their second wave.
A late New Year’s greeting to all of you, and may we meet in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, United States, Hong Kong, Norway or Denmark... just to list a few of the possibilities for meeting and exchange, for those of us being on the move.